Joan Ronalder, Animal Trainer Extraordinaire!
NetPlaces Network Staff
National Pet Press interviewed Joan Ronalder, one of America’s foremost multi-species animal trainers and top-booked performers. Reprinted with exclusive permission.
Joan’s Liberty Horse Act was
a famous attraction at national horse show events ranging from Hunter-Jumper to
Working Quarter Horse competitions.
By early 2001, Ronalder
had become the top-booked performance act in America’s theme parks and
rodeos! Among her unusual acts was a Brahma Bull under saddle (photo above)
and her “dog and pony show” thrilled audiences from Canada to Florida.
loudspeaker-narrated story of the Indian Maiden and Dancing Horse act always
brought chills, tears and standing ovations! Yes, she wrote the script.
(Excerpt from National
Pet Press newspaper)
Your Dancing Horse Drama
was so unusual and so emotionally moving to the audience! Did you script it
as well as train the Appaloosa and the Paint? Did you make your own costume?
And is it true that the Paint was considered mean and un-trainable?
JR: I wrote the script
and designed the costume. I also trained the horses to work to the script.
Yes, the Paint was very dangerous but I never gave up, perseverance is the
NPP: How often do you
work your animals between performances?
JR: I don’t. If they are
properly trained they don’t forget, they just need to stay in physical
condition to perform.
NPP: You traveled from
Mexico to Canada and we imagine the responsibility of caring for the animals
had to be huge, but what about your personal safety?
JR: I traveled with my
big German Shepherd Dog “Colonel”. He was all the safety I needed, plus he
protected my animals from the curious public while I was performing or away
from my rig.
NPP: It has been said
that a couple of the dogs in your act were very wolf-like. How did you train
the pony to allow them to jump on and ride four-astride?
JR: It was a process of
building the pony’s confidence and teaching the dogs not to bite and chase.
NPP: Don’t you sometimes
miss the adoring crowds and life on the road?
JR: No, it’s been great
to be able to stay home and concentrate on developing the mind and working
abilities of my Czech import dogs.
Learn more about
Ronalder in ProFiles
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